College basketball is back, and Hoosiers from Fort Wayne to Evansville, Gary to Richmond, and everywhere in between are preparing to get hysterical about the game they love.
In 49 states, it’s just a game. In the state of Indiana, we need our own power rankings. Every week we’ll help settle the ongoing debate regarding who are the best of the ten Division One college basketball teams in the basketball crazed state of Indiana.
Here are the preseason state of Indiana NCAA Division One men’s college basketball power rankings. Let the debate begin.
Current Indiana teams in Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology: Purdue (5), Indiana (7) Butler (9).
1. Indiana Hoosiers (B1G) – Yes we did. Let the homer cries commence. We never had IU at the top of these rankings last year, but the combination of Archie Miller having a year under his belt along with the dynamic duo of Juwan Morgan and Romeo Langford makes this one pretty easy. Add in IU’s length and depth and it becomes obvious.
2. Purdue Boilermakers (B1G) – Carsen Edwards is great, but can he carry a team of role players? Put us in the skeptical column. Matt Painter will get this team to play hard, but the Boilers just don’t have enough pieces to the puzzle this year to top the list.
3. Butler Bulldogs (Big East) – The Bulldogs are now firmly established as nationally relevant on an annual basis. They lost Kelan Martin and Tyler Wideman but still have returning talent, especially in the backcourt with Kamar Baldwin leading the way.
4. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (ACC) – The Irish struggled last year when Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell were down. Both graduated. Notre Dame still has talent but will need a strong recruiting class to step in and contribute. It could be a long year in the ACC.
5. Ball State Cardinals (MAC) – The Cardinals are a legit threat to return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2000. Under James Whitford they have had three straight seasons of at least 19 wins and have four starters returning.
6. Valparaiso Crusaders (MVC) – Valpo has a year of the MVC under their belt and should be improved this year after a down season. The Crusaders return a lot of talent including Bakari Evelyn and should challenge for some kind of postseason play.
7. Indiana State Sycamores (MVC) – The Sycamores lost two of their three returning scorers but return leading scorer Jordan Barnes and have a lot of pieces that can also contribute. IU fans know better than to overlook ISU.
8. Fort Wayne Mastodons (Summit) – Although they don’t play this year, Hoosier fans will still be relieved to know that the long nightmare that is Bryson Scott has graduated. Another familiar name, Jon Konchar, is back and the Mastodons should still be competitive.
9. Evansville Purple Aces (MVC) – New head coach Walter McCarty is going to have his hands full as the Aces look to rebuild. They lost two of their top players to transfers — Ryan Taylor (now at Northwestern) and Dru Smith (Missouri).
10. IUPUI Jaguars (Horizon)- Head coach Jason Gardner starts his 5th season, and IUPUI hasn’t had a winning record since 2010-11. While they have some interesting players on this team, don’t look for the run of futility to end now.
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